NZ Rugby World

OUR PREDICTION CHAMPIONS

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RECRUITMEN­T BALANCE

There has been relatively little movement from the champions in the off season. No big names coming or going and the Crusaders look much the same as they did last year.

The movement has been on the fringes of the squad and is unlikely to make any discernibl­e impact.

The only real difference this time round is they know they will have Sam Whitelock for the whole campaign.

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT TACTICALLY?

Winning rugby is what we can expect. They know how to get the job done and that means they will use their forwards and set piece when they have to while also having faith in a backline that can create space out of nothing.

What they were brilliant at least year was surging in the final quarter and we expect them to be able to do that again.

The firepower at their disposal is quite ridiculous - Richie Mo'unga, Jack Goodhue, Braydon Ennor, George Bridge, Sevu Reece and Will Jordan – while we also expect Cullen Grace to take big steps forward this year.

GUT FEEL – RISERS OR FALLERS?

These guys love the pressure of being champions and they love the idea they can keep getting better. This may be Scott Robertson’s last campaign as coach and that may be enough for them to dig deep and find the next level of performanc­e they feel they have in them.

As good as they were last year, and the year before and before that even…we still think they will be better again in 2021.

WHERE WILL THEY FINISH?

They have won four in a row and to be honest we can’t find a good enough reason to say they won’t win five. So there you have it…another title for the Crusaders.

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 ??  ?? STEADY AS SHE GOES The Crusaders will have their usual array of talent to pick from in the back three.
STEADY AS SHE GOES The Crusaders will have their usual array of talent to pick from in the back three.

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